After Sunday at church, we still have one more birthday celebration at Jojo’s school. We only need to prepare 15 set since there’s only 14 kids at Jojo’s pre-school class. And luckily the school starts at 9 am but I could delivered the goodie bags around 10 am before school’s out so I didn’t need to wake up at 3 am, I think if we started at 5 am was enough to make it on time.
I made this prototype on Thursday. Since we still could not get the food container we want, we bought this laptop type plastic food container at Daisho, Rp 22,500 (around USD 2.40) for 16 containers. The plastic was better than yesterday for my mini bento set since there were local made. I made bigger bento than yesterday mini bento since the kids could ate them for their lunch time, and also I wanted a bigger challenge than yesterday. Although it’s only 15 set, but we have 30 onigiri and 30 quail eggs to decorate.
But after yesterday experience, I’ve learnt that nori decorating was a pain in the @ss and I really need to avoid that as much as possible if I want to make large quantity bento set. But right now I didn’t have much design alternatives since I was too tired after preparing 20 mini bento set so the best way was to make slight changes from the prototype design.
First of all was the pink onigiri. The prototype was using white rice mix with red furikake, but my wife said maybe some kids won’t like the smell and taste of furikake. I really could not argue with that right now so it’s better to change it with red rice and white rice mix to make it red (but not pink, I personally like the pink onigiri since it’s cuter).
Another change was I replace the bunny quail egg with cherry tomatoes to save time. The piggy quail egg only need 2 eyes while the bunny needs 4 nori pieces for their facial, we could save lots of time if we skip those bunnies. I also add some cauliflower chunks instead using all broccoli.
We didn’t prepare anything the night before since we’re too tired and want some sleep, expect the quail eggs since we cooked lots of them the night before for 2 days used. I wake up at 5 am on Monday. Our housemaid already cooked the white rice and the red rice & white rice mix (we have 2 rice cookers). So I started with cutting the broccoli and cauliflower. They need to be put inside a bowl of water first before ready to cook to maintain their colors. Mix some salt with the water for the broccoli and a little of cooking oil for the cauliflower.
While waiting for the vegetables, it’s time to cut the sausages. I still have 2 brands of sausages, the good one and the bad one (the one that won’t expand). I have to mix them since I didn’t have spare sausages.
After cutting 60 flower sausages in 30 minutes, it’s time to boiled the vegetables along with the sausages, of course with separate pots. While waiting them boiled, I microwaved two slices of ham and started cutting them to create piggy mouths and ears.
It’s already 6 am when my wife wake up. While I prepared the lettuce to cover the plastic food container, she started making the piggy and punching some nori. While she’s busy I started making the onigiri, there’s 30 onigiri to be made. Same like the yesterday mini bento, I used dried salted fish for filling. After my wife finished assemble all piggies, she continue making the onigiri while I started to arrange the onigiri, vegetables, and sausages into the container.
I was still arranging when my wife finished the 30th onigiri, so she started putting the piggy quail eggs, cherry tomatoes, and corns into the paper cup. When I finished arranging the strawberries my wife also done with her paper cups. It’s already 7 am and here came the dreaded part of bento making; nori decoration sigh … :S
It took us 1 hour to finish decorating all the facial expression. I did most of the onigiri while my wife did all the piggy eyes and helped me with several onigiri. We made different expression for the onigiri to make them more lively but the real reason was to utilize most of punched nori since we got all sorts of emoticon icons in one punch.
I was really glad we could finish the hard part of the job and the last thing to do was wrapping the food container with plastic wrapper. The job still need 2 people, one person must hold the container while the other wrapped it close.
The last thing to do was arrange them all to take some pictures.
I took Jojo to school, his teacher already prepared a banner to celebrate his birthday. We celebrated together with his friends and teachers, took some pictures and the class started. I went back home to prepare the goodie bags like yesterday. Around 10 am I came back to school to send the goodie bags, hope that the kids will like them and no one got sick after eating the bento ^_^
What a week, it’s very tiring but a rewarding week for all of us. I will take some rest from bento making for a few days, not many people made 35 bento set in 2 days …